Corey Kluber has started the season with a record of 0-1, and a 5.25 ERA. While some Indians fans may panic over their ace’s ERA, there is no reason at all to be alarmed. The most eye-opening thing about a lot of Kluber’s losses, is that it really should not be a loss. Even at the beginning of last year, Kluber would hold opposing teams to two or three runs, but the offense would not show up. Kluber’s struggles may be apparent through the first few games of the season, but at the end of the year he will be the same Cy Young-worthy ace.
Why Corey Kluber’s Struggles will be Short-Lived
Indians @ Rangers: W(8-5)
The Cleveland Indians won their first game of the season without the help of Kluber. It was up to the team’s bats to slug their way back into the game. Last season, Kluber gave up five or more runs only five times including postseason. It is truly not normal for a team to tag Corey for five runs. Overall it was not a pretty outing for him. He ended the game after six innings, giving up five runs on six hits with three home runs. It was the first time Kluber had given up three homers since August 19, 2015 against the Boston Red Sox where they hammered four off of Kluber. Ultimately, the Indians’ bats awoke exploding for seven unanswered runs to win the game after being down 5-1. This was not a game Kluber should have gotten the win for, but his teammates bailed him out.
Indians @ Diamondbacks: L(3-2)
Now this is a game Kluber should have gotten the win for. He held the Arizona Diamondbacks to three runs through six innings. Granted this Diamondbacks team was coming off of a 3-1 series win from the San Francisco Giants and took the first two from the Indians. So far, the Diamondbacks have shocked the baseball world. However, when a team is coming off of a sweep of the Texas Rangers where they averaged seven runs a game, they should have put up more than two against a mediocre Arizona pitching staff. This happened to Kluber many times last season when he would hold a team to minimal runs produced but the offense would not show up. The whole series did not go the way the Indians would have liked but they have a whole lot to look forward to.
Kluber lost six of his first eight games last season. In 2015 he lost eight of his first nine. And in 2014 he lost his first five of seven. Kluber has never really been one to start of the season too strong, but thankfully that does not matter. It only matters how you finish the season. And Kluber was a Cy Young candidate in both 2014 and 2016 (winning it in 2014). Also, Kluber has had over 225 strikeouts in each of his past three seasons. Kluber is as close to an ace as you can get.
The only thing the Indians should worry about is ensuring Kluber does not get injured. An Indians team without Kluber is surely in trouble. The first month of the season will be interesting for him. Hopefully his American League Champion team can help him win a few more of his three run games. Kluber will be just fine this season and he will surely be looking for some hardware at the end of the season.